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Ibiza Pilates: Posture

In our 2nd column of the series for islanders looking to take time out for themselves after the summer, Jacky Croad of Ibiza Pilates addresses Posture.

Posture is the position in which you hold your body upright against gravity while standing, sitting or lying down. Ibiza Pilates teaches exercises for posture, which involve training your body to stand, walk, sit and lie in positions where the least strain is placed on supporting muscles and ligaments during movement.

Ibiza Pilates will teach you Neutral Spine which is the most stable and shock-absorbing position that we can put our pelvis and lumbar spine in. Being in Neutral Spine is the ideal position for us to be in, not only in Pilates but also in our daily life.

Here's how you can feel Neutral Spine: Lie on your back with your knees bent and your feet flat on the floor. Your spine should have two areas that do not touch the mat underneath you: your neck and your lower back (the cervical spine and lumbar spine). These natural curves in your back function to absorb shock when you're standing, running, jumping, or simply walking around town. When you sit, it's important to maintain the natural curves in your spine to prevent lower back and neck strain. Neutral Spine is basically universal proper posture.

When lying on your back with Neutral Spine, you should be able to balance a teacup on your lower belly. If you tilt your pelvis forward too much (by arching your back off the mat), your teacup will spill forward. If you tilt your pelvis backward (by flattening your back on the floor), you'll spill your teacup backward. Neutral Spine (also sometimes called neutral pelvis) is when the teacup doesn't spill!

EXERCISES from Ibiza Pilates

Standing:

Hold your head straight, balanced evenly between your shoulders and with your chin parallel to the floor and eyes looking ahead. Keep shoulders, hips, and knees level and your feet and knees pointed straight ahead. Make sure you are not tucking your pelvis under (Lordosis) or sticking your bottom out (Kyphosis) too much. RELAX.....do not stand like a robot....and also learn to breathe properly (previous weeks article). Try lifting the crown of head up to the ceiling....to get the maximum length through the spine.

Sitting:

Hold your head straight and erect, bend your knees and hips at 90-degree angles, and keep your feet flat on the floor. Keep your lower back pressed against the chair.

Sleeping:

Lie flat on your back, with a low pillow under your head and neck (this position is the safest for your spine and best for face wrinkles). If you sleep on your side, keep your ear, shoulder, hip, knee, and ankle along a straight line. Place a small pillow between your knees and try to avoid twisting your spine and pelvis. IMPORTANT.....when getting out of bed make sure you sit up, swing both legs out and use your arms to stand up. Keep spine as straight as possible and don't just roll out of bed.

Ibiza Pilates says smile while you stand tall. Enjoy!

Author of the Ibiza Pilates Series, Jacky Croad of Ibiza Pilates UK offers quality reformer and matwork Pilates at her private and friendly studio in Santa Gertrudis town. Jacky can also travel to your villa/yacht and teach up to 7 clients with all equipment. Call direct on 0034 636 479 159 or see website link above for more details

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